C Tann-Starr's Outside Blog


Commercial Real Estate Investing 101

Trump University is helping me shape my five year business plan. I have previously mentioned being a Realtor was part of my two year business model. Since I plan on sticking around for a while I decided I might as well let you guys know what I have been up to. Not all at once and certainly not everything, but a little at a time, especially since my last post generated so much interesting e-mail off forum (LOL).

Everyone knows that I think this market whomps. I have certainly said it enough but there is money to be made if one is shrewd enough to do more than work for a living. I have been working very hard and taking the advice of some very smart professionals in the real estate industry. I am trying to learn proven strategies that work in any market because it really isn't the market that drives the economy. It's people interacting efficiently or inefficiently that makes or breaks the industry trends.

Those of you who know me are aware that I am a recreational reader. When I think something is worth my while, I tend to get excited and share it with my friends. If I really like it, really hate it, or am truly curious about something I usually start a blog post (LOL). If you read my blog you are aware that I have only recommended a few books, a handful of authors and spend most of my turtle run time getting you guys to go read my buddies blog posts that I happen to enjoy ( or new people that I find fascinating)

Today I am going to recommend a book I haven't read yet. It hasn't been released, but it is about to be and I have been waiting like a little kid for this new book to come out. Commercial Real Estate Investing 101 is my number one title of must have books to read because I love Donald Trump's work and I have every intention of partnering with my hubby to acquire/develop our first commercial property.

We own stock and a few parcels of land, but have yet to buy (or build) a house because we want the most bang for our buck. Times are tough. Every penny counts and every decision matters. I am learning from other Realtors who are investors that when you are land owners (like we are), you have to make decisions regarding the best use of that land in a timely manner. It is my belief that if you are going to create any level of wealth for yourself you should learn what those who went before you discovered. Absorb what is useful and disregard the rest is how I operate. So I need your help. I want your input. (BTW, it would be helpful if I am not the only person who reads this book as the discussion develops - LOL)

When I talked with my gal pal Melody Botting, Melodious suggested my hubby study commercial real estate since I went the residential and mixed use route. Mike is very excited about it and has spent a considerable amount if time looking over Trump U with me, as well as other educational investment sites. We both have a lot of respect for Donald Trump and we can't wait to add his latest book to our small but spanking investment library.

If you have a favorite commercial investment book or author, I would love to hear about it! Please feel free to add the links so I can find them and check 'em out with the hubby. NO COMMENT SPAM! Seriously.

(BTW, I am a big fan of The Donald, so give me a shout out if you read him! Let me know what other D.T. titles you have.)

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Comment balloon 61 commentsC Tann-Starr • November 18 2008 12:43PM


Carolyn, I have Donald books that people have given to me.  I have not read them.  Shame on me.  I should, maybe I will.  I read the Rich Dad, poor Dad books.  They were okay, I went out and bought some real estate investments.  One of the things I always wanted to purchase, and came close, is an apartment building.  Maybe in my next go around I will.  I do have investors starting to rear their heads again though.  I think people are seeing the bottom.

Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Services) almost 12 years ago

Audrey, I do a lot of market reports (I just don't post them here - LOL). I've been working on a study for my Dad because we recently bull dozed the store and gas station my late grandmother used to own to the ground. The SC property still has two rental units on it. A three bedroom house and a mobile home. We have to develop this dozed area into something viable. The property is on HWY 521 to Myrtle Beach. If we make the wrong decision, we are not going to be able to rip it all down and start over again. We get one shot at this. The closet gas station from that spot to the next is approximately 28 miles. My family wants to do something useful there and possibly reopen the gas station. My kids are going to inherit this so I have to be very careful with this venture... Besides the fact that my hubby and Dad are very serious people when it comes to touching their savings, I think that because I get to be in charge of this project I am nervous as hell mainly because my family is involved... 

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I am one class away from my CCIM designation.  It has not been easy for me.  Granted, I have leased commercial properties but there is a lot more that goes into it.  I have not looked at anything Trump University has published.  My question is, "Will you get your CCIM through it or not?"  CCIM is well respected in Texas.  However, there is still a 'good 'ol boys club' to break into.

Posted by Melody Botting, You Deserve The Best (Broker Associate PenFed Realty) almost 12 years ago

Very cool bit of info, Melodious. I shall look into what they do sponsor and get back to you. Love, C. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Really C, Melody has wisdom - you should really consider going for the CCIM designation. I love The Donald too but .... just think about Melody's comment.

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing almost 12 years ago

Melodious is the boss of me. I shall do both. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I LOVE Trump and have read just one of his books and I need to get more! 

Posted by Pam Pugmire, Meridian Idaho Real Estate (Silvercreek Realty Group) almost 12 years ago

C - I think you are our biggest fan.... all kidding aside. Thanks for sharing this new book and our promo with your readers.  Our hope is to have this book rise through the charts of Amazon and hit #1 in at least the business section.  I'll keep everyone posted on our progress.

Once again thanks for your great post.

Posted by Josef Katz, {Marketing Maestro} (Digital and Direct Response Marketing) almost 12 years ago

Hey C!  I don't like Trump much, but I do like this post.  And I love you.  I am featuring this in Realtors and Friends that Read!   xxoo

Posted by Susan Mangigian, Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) almost 12 years ago

Pam, very cool! I hope you get this one so we can chat about it. I'm very excited and nervous about developing a commercial deal for my family. I could use all the input from you guys that I can get. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Josef. I'm looking forward to reading his book and seeing how well it is received. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Susan, thank you for the feature! Very cool. I'm looking forward to writing a review for your group. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

If anyone will survive the change in real estate it will be you C.  All I can say is proactive and creative you are!


Posted by Terri Visser, CRS - 12 Years Selling Central Oregon Real Estate (Desert Sky Real Estate, LLC) almost 12 years ago

Terri, thank you for the kind words. I'm trying very hard to build my business because I want to leave something lovely for my little ones to inherit in addition to making a living now. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you AR Dudes (and Claire) for the feature. Love, C. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

I am a TRUMP (theory) LOVER and proud to admit it.   Although I don't always agree with what he says and does, the man is really smart and I respect his opinions in most things.  I haven't gone to Trump U, but I have read all his books.  There is a book I read a few years ago that has been an invaluable reference tool for me, but I cannot remember the author's name - I'll drop back by tomoorw with it for you. 

Posted by Michelle DeRepentigny, Broker Athens, GA (Success Realty) almost 12 years ago

C- I am a huge Donald fan!  of course the best line of all is, You're Fired!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- myrtlebeachhomesblog.com (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) almost 12 years ago


I have read "The Art of The Deal" and "Trump", both of which are entertaining as long as you can deal with a large helping of Donald's ego. 

His books are fun and can certainly give you feelings of grandeur and possibly motivation, but Donald made his bones from his father, Fred, who was a wealthy and successful developer and he simply continued the legacy, sometimes succeeding and others failing.

Failures include:

Starting with the renovation of the Commodore Hotel into the Grand Hyatt with the Pritzker family, he continued with Trump Tower in New York City and several other residential projects. Trump would later expand into the airline industry (buying the Eastern Shuttle routes),[3] and Atlantic City casino business, including buying the Taj Mahal Casino from the Crosby family, then taking it into bankruptcy. This expansion, both personal and business, led to mounting debt.[4] Much of the news about him in the early 1990s involved his much publicized financial problems, creditor-led bailout, extramarital affair with Marla Maples, and the resulting divorce from his first wife, Ivana Trump.


Successes include:

Trump World Tower, a 72-story residential tower across from the United Nations Headquarters.[5] Also, he began construction on Trump Place, a multi-building development along the Hudson River. Trump owns commercial space in Trump International Hotel and Tower, a 44-story mixed-use (hotel and condominium) tower on Columbus Circle. Trump currently owns several million square feet of prime Manhattan real estate,[6] and remains a major figure in the field of real estate in the United States and a celebrity for his prominent media exposures


Enjoy the reading!.

Posted by Sean Dreznin, Commercial Investment Real Estate Agent (NAI Tampa Bay) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn, I haven't read any of Donald Trumps' books.  I've read a lot of investing books by other authors but not one by Donald Trump, which probably sounds crazy since he is a well known real estate expert and investment guru.  But, any ways, since you speak so highly of Mr. Trump and have already read many of his books, I plan to buy one of his books this week.  Do you have another book of his that you can recommend?  I'm not quite sure if I would benefit from reading his book on commercial investing, well, at least not yet.

Posted by Tracy Miller, S. S. Specialist almost 12 years ago

C, just my two cents. The commercial real estate agents I am associated with are still doing relatively well. So if you or hubby get into it, it might be a good mix of business for you.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) almost 12 years ago


Not much to add, but I did want to congratulate you on the feature!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) almost 12 years ago

Congratulations on being featured. Good luck with the project.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn-I wanted to congratulate you on your feature. great job. I read DT's book "Think like a Billionaire" excellent book IMHO. I have quite a library of investing books, but that is the only Donald Trump one at the moment. :-)

Posted by Pat Whitehouse, Broker/Owner (RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va) almost 12 years ago

C, I think you are wise to study all of your options in regard to the property in SC.  I think Melody is so smart to get her CCIM too.  Now is a good time to take your time and know all of your options!!


Posted by Audrey June-Forshey, GRI, Gaithersburg, MD (RE/MAX Realty Services) almost 12 years ago

Hope all goes well with your ventures, Have read 3 books by Trump and one he co author with Robert Kyosaki ( That may not be spelled right but he was author of rich dad poor dad). Anyway great books. But like any book I like reading between the lines.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) almost 12 years ago

Dear Carolyn:I have never read anything by "The Donald" but do admit he is one shrewd dude. And, I will look forward to your posts on his new book.

Posted by Kelly Willey, Short Sale Agent - Harford County Maryland Real Estate (Long and Foster BEL AIR MARYLAND) almost 12 years ago

Trump is a very wise businessman and it's good to learn from the best. Good Luck. Rich Charlotte NC

Posted by Rich Ferretti, ABR QSC Realtor/Broker, Charlotte NC Real Estate a (Rich Ferretti Real Estate) almost 12 years ago

I always follow Donald too--my husband doesn't like him that much but he sure has a keen business mind.

Posted by Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton (Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC) almost 12 years ago

I think "The Donald" is fabulous and everything he touches usually turns to gold. I read his first book. You will do great with this.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) almost 12 years ago

Carolyn - congrats on the feature! And thanks for the heads up about The Donald's new book.  Can't wait to see what you think of it.

As to the SC property - since there's no other gas station for 28 miles, are you hesitating because you think the future of gas is limited? A gas/convenience store? So you've got real estate in your genes, too :)

Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) almost 12 years ago

C: I am excited to hear all about what you think of Trumps' new book. BTW you will be successful because of your passion... Take Care!!!

Posted by Teresa Harris, Denver . Lake Norman . Charlotte (Lake Real Estate, LLC) almost 12 years ago

I have always wanted to learn about Commercial Real Estate Investing. I guess I need to get the book. Or I can be a contestant on next season's The Apprentice:The Celebrity Edition. Wait I am not a celebrity yet. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) almost 12 years ago

I  believe The Donald has been cancelled, no more The Apprentice.

Personally I choose to follow such icons as Warren Buffet, buy low sell high, when others are greedy be fearful, when others are fearlful be greedy!  Show compassion, show modesty and own Coca Cola & Gillete among many other things!  Buy Investment Banks like Lehman Brothers for 50% off!

Compared to Buffet, The Donald is a pretender! :)


Posted by Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation, Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team (Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC) almost 12 years ago

LOL @ Scott. Very interesting... :-)

Thank you, Lanre. Going for the CCIM is new territory for me. It will be my first real estate industry designation. Very cool. Looking forward to it.

Thank you, Teresa H. I appreciate your kind words and look forward to chatting about his new book. It has been moving through the ranks very well. Last I checked it was hovering around #14.

Thank you, Lizette. I am definitely with you. DT is fabulous. There are a lot of other wonderful writers I am also into, but I am really stoked about this book. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Charles, Thank you. I enjoyed Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Kelly W, this should be very interesting. He usually is. Since you haven't read anything by DT, I guess I'm curious to learn about who you have read. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Thank you, Rich.

Diane B, sometimes very colorful and strong personalities have an interesting way of attracting and repelling people. It's nice to hear that you follow him. I enjoy keeping up with as much as I can.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Gary, that is very encouraging to hear.

Thank you, Richard. :-)

Thank you, Gita.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

        Well, I am new to Active Rain and as a mostly commercial guy, I was beginning to get worried I was in the wrong place. All of this mention of the CCIM program has given me renewed faith. I earned that designation this April past and I can tell you the journey is just as rewarding as the destination and it will give you a whole new universe of possibilties.  Word to the wise: Assemble your portfolio of qualifying transactions as they occur. it will save you a world of heartache and stress when it's time to take the Comprehensive Exam. Onward.

Posted by Dave Meyer (Remax Real Estate Services) almost 12 years ago

Pat, thinking like a billionaire is a very fun exercise in expanding into new territory. It may be a slender tome, but it was a very cool read (LOL). Did you read the one just before it, "How To Get Rich" ? I really enjoyed that one as well.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Audrey, I appreciate your kind words. Melodious is definitely one smart cookie. That's why I am always happy to report that she is the boss of me. I follow Mel around like a virtual puppy (LOL). I've been thinking very seriously about the CCIM and determined early on in my career I was going to wait and see what everyone had to say about their designations. I don't want a bunch of letters behind my name. Maybe two, no more than three. I believe making the CCIM my first is an excellent selection.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Dave, very nice to make your virtual acquaintance. Come hang out at Club Chaos with us. You can help me learn what the CCIM is all about. I will send you an invitation. Regards, Carolyn. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Sean D, that was quite a Wiki moment (LOL). Thank you for the run down. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Audrey, I was thinking about what you said about purchasing an apartment building. How many units would you want? I think if I did I could hypothetically gravitate towards a 6 or 10 unit building... I know that I am not ready for prime time regarding that type of investment at this time, but I have thought about it. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Michelle D, I am looking forward to hearing about that book. I hope you do remember and/or find it. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Jeremy, my 6 year old tells that to my 2 year old (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Tracey M, To start your DT collection I would suggest Trump: The Art of the Deal and Trump 101: The Way to Success.

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn, thanks for your post! The book is moving up the charts on Amazon :)

Posted by Diana Yankova - Trump University almost 12 years ago

Diana, you are very welcome. I am really looking forward to reading this book as well as starting work on my CCIM designation. I have two very talented buddies about to finish theirs and I believe it will be a very good fit for my future plans. :-)

BTW, thank you Lizette and Melodious. :-D

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Any suggestions as to which vendor I should use for my CCIM classes? My preference is to take them on-line, but I open to the venue. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Hi Carolyn

          I'm not sure which if any of the core classes are offered online but I highly recommend taking them in person. They are offerred periodically all over the country. You spend five days in a room full of real estate  professionals from many different disciplines and geographic areas and the relationship building and networking opportunities are infinite. Not to mention the instructors. These are the Jedi of commercial real estate and often times they share some of their own personal trade secrets and techniques. Check out the website ccim.com. Let me know if I can give you any further assistance.

Posted by Dave Meyer (Remax Real Estate Services) almost 12 years ago

Dave, thank you. That would be awesome! :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago


This link is the PDF for the 2009 CCIM available course list  from CCIM.com

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 12 years ago

Bustling, energetic Urban Centres will be characterised by distinctive modern towers and grand covered spaces. These centres will represent the commercial and social hub of each zone. In addition to well designed office and residential spaces there will be a rich selection of cafes, restaurants and shops which will give each of the zones a distinct and vibrant character of its own. A combination of shaded arcades and ingenious architecture will create a comfortable, lively environment, day and night. Downtown Jebel Ali is a community designed for how people want to live. Around 200,000 people can walk to work, enjoy great shopping, relax and socialise, with landscaped outdoor spaces making up a considerable 50% of the total area.

Posted by loai over 11 years ago

True to its name,   is a melting pot of the divergent nationalities and cultures making Dubai modern and cosmopolitan. Initiated with a vision to provide affordable yet stylish living experience to more than 60,000 people, International City has been successful in helping realize the dreams of many to own a home in Dubai.

Spread over an enormous 800-hectare plot, International City offers wide range of business activities, retail opportunities and tourist attractions that goes hand-in-hand with the residential features.

International City is a country themed architecture of residences, business opportunity, and tourist attractions. It will cover 800 hectares (8 million square meters) and its geometry was inspired by the intricately patterened traditional carpets of the Middle East. Once completed, the project will contain studio, one and two bedroom apartment units and accommodate over 60 thousand residents.

Posted by loai over 11 years ago

Loai, that sounds very cool.  :-)

Posted by Anonymous over 11 years ago

Loai, I have to agree. Very cool, indeed. ;-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Not just for the sports lovers out there, Dubai Sports City has plenty to offer all types of buyers and investors in Dubai property, as well being a destination likely to attract Dubai's large tourist population. Sports City is just one on many themed areas located in the ongoing theme park development that is Dubailand.

Situated across from the Dubai Marina development, Jumeirah Lake Towers is another development of equally impressive size that consists of high-rise buildings scattered around manmade lakes. With such a high level of demand for mixed use freehold property in Dubai, this expansive development offers a much needed supply of apartments and office space with easy access to the city.

The buildings at Jumeirah Lake Towers represent a variety of commercial and residential properties for freehold purchase and aim to be a further extension to Dubai's growing business community. As another Nakheel development, Jumeirah Lake Towers is expected to be a rival to Emaars Downtown Dubai and Dubai Holdings Business Bay, with the Dubai Metals and Commodities Centre (DMCC) at the heart of the project.

Be part of this waterfront dynamic community living! For the best deals in Jumeirah Lake Towers get in touch with the experts and contact us now. We will assign one of our dedicated real estate consultants to advise you on every aspect of your property purchase, making it stress free and easy. We are working closely with various developers and investors on this development and due to our experience and relationship we guarantee that you will be provided with valuable pre and post-sales assistance that you would not get by going direct to the developer or the owner. We assure you that we will try to provide you with the best price and that you will not find deals cheaper by going direct.

Posted by loai over 11 years ago

I've never been, Loai,  so if you have time, please take a few pictures and post them in the comments section here so we can see. Seriously! I would love to see what your neck of the woods looks like. I am totally into eye candy. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago


thanks for the info.

yours sincerely,


Posted by don over 11 years ago

Don, you are welcome. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Thank you, Foreclosure Warehouse. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) over 11 years ago

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